Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger is once again calling on residents and agencies across Hartlepool to stand up to hate crime after highlighting the policing perspective on the issue to key council officials.
Mr Coppinger joined police inspector Dan Maddison to raise awareness of the low reporting levels seen nationally and across Cleveland at a meeting of Hartlepool Council’s Audit and Governance Committee. The meeting heard that there had been 69 incidents reported in Hartlepool between April 2013 and April 2014.
Working closely with our partners including Hartlepool Council, much has been done in the town and wider areas over recent years, including the launch of a safe places scheme, where people who feel vulnerable or need support can access help. Many of these safe places are in central locations such as shops and cafes.
Other projects have included a disability hate awareness DVD, a multi-agency seminar to improve the response to homophobic and transphobic hate crime, and a recently commissioned project to take education sessions on race and religious hate into schools.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: "We will continue to speak out on behalf of victims of these truly awful crimes. Hartlepool has seen some excellent partnership work over the last year to raise awareness of the reporting of hate crime, but this work needs to continue in earnest as victims must have the confidence to tell someone and receive support.
"I look forward to continuing this work throughout the town and beyond throughout 2015."
Councillor Ray Martin-Wells, Chair of the Council’s Audit and Governance Committee, said: "Hate crime destroys lives. We won’t tolerate it and we would urge everyone to stand up to it.
"The Committee is currently looking at how many hate crime incidents there have been in Hartlepool and exploring why victims don’t always report them and how we can make it easier for them to have the confidence to do so.
"We very much welcome Mr Coppinger’s very informative contribution to our investigation, the results of which will be published in the spring.
"I would also remind people that we also have a Victim Services Officer, Lorna Hilton, based within the Council’s Community Safety Team, to whom victims of hate crime can speak in confidence by calling 01429 523100."
Posted on Friday 20th February 2015